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help exchange   Host 24059
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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 16
Persons: 4
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 24059
Country: Portugal

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Last Updated: March 7, 2015

We live on an olive farm in the centre of Portugal, not far from the market town of Oleiros. The farm is in its early stages of being brought back to life, having being abandoned around ten years ago. There's lots to help plan, repair, improve, and set in motion.

The quinta has about 250 olive trees and lots of other fruit trees - many of which we've planted ourselves. There is a main farmhouse, where we live, and about a dozen small stone cottages, most without a roof, that we are gradually repairing. We have lots of terraces to maintain and develop and a large amount of woodland to get under control.

We are hoping to implement a permaculture system on the Quinta and have planted out an area for a forest garden. We are also in the early stages of creating raised beds and an irrigation system.We have no animals, apart from 2 small and friendly dogs.

There are things to do all year round, but we are particularly looking for volunteers to join us and help pick the olives in November and December. Other activities include planting fruit trees and vegetables, general upkeep, natural building, picking fruit, dry stone walling, soap-making with our excess olive oil, digging up brambles and collecting fire wood. If you have a skill you'd like to share with us then so much the better!

Keen cooks are very welcome. We like to use lots of local produce, and try local specialities such as goat stew and the amazing local sheep and goat's cheeses. We are not vegetarian or vegan but can certainly accommodate anyone who is. If you prefer nuts and berries we also have a dehydrator, and we have plenty of superfoods, dried grains and pulses.

Volunteers work roughly 5 hours a day, 5 days a week - the hours depend upon the heat (if it's hot, we work early mornings and late afternoons). Accommodation is in the farm house which is old and a rather rustic! Internet is available, and we have lots of books to browse through, and comfortable places to read them in. We'll be shortly putting in a wood fired central heating system, but at the moment heating consists of a fireplace in the kitchen and electric heaters in the bedrooms.

We are about 15 minute's drive from town, and we usually go in about once or twice a week. We can pick up volunteers from there (coaches go to Oleiros from Lisbon). If you are coming from Porto we can pick you up from Coimbra. We are also a short drive from the river Zezere which is delightful to swim in during the summer and early autumn. As we are in a hilly region it can get quite chilly in the evenings and the winter but we still get lots of lovely sunny days then too.

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